MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday he hopes the resurrection of Jesus Christ would inspire Filipinos to "look ahead for new beginnings and move forward with stronger faith and compassion for others."
"The glory of Easter gives us all a profound message of hope in the midst of suffering and an assurance of triumph over adversity," he said in his Easter message.
"As we collectively strive to overcome the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I trust that the promise of salvation will inspire us to look ahead for new beginnings and move forward with stronger faith and compassion for others."
He added, "May this cornerstone of Christianity guide us as we pursue our shared aspirations for a better and safer future of our people. A blessed Easter to all!”
The Philippines on Black Saturday logged 12,576 more COVID-19 cases, the second highest single-day tally since the pandemic began, bringing its total virus cases to 784,043.
Majority of the virus cases came from Metro Manila and nearby provinces, prompting government to reimpose enhanced community quarantine until April 11.
Hospitals' intensive care and isolation bed capacity in the capital region have reached critical levels or above a 70-percent occupancy rate, data from the health department showed.
The spike in cases has been due to the presence of COVID-19 variants, the increased mobility of people after the gradual reopening of the economy, and the public's non-compliance with health protocols, officials and experts said.
The Philippines was the first country in Asia to go under a nationwide lockdown, with broad restrictions and movement curbs leading to a 9.5-percent slump in the economy, its worst contraction on record.